Sometimes, Jim Jones Gets Kufi Smacked
It’s been going around the foreign-policy interwebs for weeks: Jim Jones, the national security adviser, has what Laura Rozen called “a problematic tenure” at the National Security Council. Joe Klein was like,* “I heard that too.” And if you talk to enough White House staffers, you hear that sort of gossip. I don’t know what happened to that policy paper we sent up the NSC chain … Jones is taking awhile to make decisions … Did Obama go around Jones for that? *So Karen DeYoung of The Washington Post asked Jones about all this, and Jones conceded he’s had a rocky adjustment to running the NSC for a man he barely knew before getting tapped for the job.
DeYoung writes that most of the “stylistic” kinks have been worked out of the Jones/NSC/Obama relationship. But the quotes she collects kind of make you feel bad for Jones, really.
“But there is a generational thing here. There is a process thing here. I’m used to staffs, and I’m used to a certain order. I’m used to people having certain roles. And so there’s a very natural adjustment period.”
“My calculus was that it would take six months,” Jones said. “We’re about halfway there, and I think every week gets a little better.”
You get the sense that Jones is readying the shuffleboard while longtime Obama aides Mark Lippert and Denis McDonough are plugging in the Metallica edition of Guitar Hero.
Jones said he is “not used to being in the center of these things. . . . But if I’m not living up to other people’s views of what the national security adviser should look like he’s doing . . . like my hair is on fire all the time,” so be it. “I did that in my life, a couple of generations ago, I was a gung ho major, and a gung-ho lieutenant colonel, and I sacrificed my family life for my career.”
Man, poor guy! He did a fine job in yesterday’s Af-Pak press briefing. Hold your head up, Gen. Jones.